BIBLE: MATTHEW (Chapter 1)

[NOTE: I present here my interpretation and understanding of some of the religious texts.  I apologize ahead of time if my presentation does not quite agree with the traditional interpretation. I welcome any discussion and consequent correction.]

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BIBLE: MATTHEW (Chapter 1)

Verses 1 to 17 of this chapter trace the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham.

Abraham is the common patriarch of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In Judaism, importance of Abraham comes from a narrative in which God revealed himself to Abraham and made a covenant with him. In Christianity, Abraham is the prototype of all believers, Jewish or Gentile. In Islam Abraham is seen as a link in the chain of prophets that begins with Adam and culminates in Muhammad.

From wisdom point of view, the importance of Abraham comes for his spiritual insights from God. As remarked in BIBLE: GENESIS (Part 1):

  1. Heaven and earth are an extension of God because creator and creation cannot be separated from each other.
  2. God is not a human like beingness. It is rather a deep abstract principle describing order precipitating from chaos.

Therefore, we shall simply say that the importance of Abraham comes his own spiritual insights. There is nothing more mysterious about it.

Verse 18 talks about mother of Jesus, Mary, being pregnant through Holy Spirit. The word HOLY comes from the idea of being whole. The word SPIRIT originally referred to breathing or to life. Therefore, “Holy Spirit” refers to the very essence of life. The process of becoming pregnant and producing a baby is the very essence of life. It is looked upon as a miracle even today. This is indeed sacred. The Church gives it a special significance with regards to the birth of Jesus and makes it a matter of faith peculiar to Christianity.

Verse 20 talks about angel of the Lord appearing to Joseph. This is essentially Joseph having a realization about the ethical thing to do, but the Church again adds mystery to it.

We see in this chapter mystery and belief being entered into a human narrative to give it a special significance. The believers in this mystery may argue, but there is no more significance to it from the point of view of wisdom. Wisdom is what we need to apply in our daily lives to advance spiritually.

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